Amazon.com isn’t just a marketplace – it’s an ad platform where brands and merchants can advertise their products in a number of ways. And the executive whom Ad Age says built Amazon’s ad business from virtually nothing to a revenue stream that generated $750.9 million last year is leaving the company.
Lisa Utzschneider, Vice President of Global Advertising Sales, is headed for Yahoo as its Senior Vice President, Sales, Americas. She’ll report directly to Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer. Amazon’s Vice President of North American Advertising Sales, Seth Dallaire, who joined Amazon in 2012 from Yahoo, will replace Utzschneider at Amazon.
In an Ad Age interview earlier this month about Amazon’s initiatives in video advertising, Utzschneider said the company continues to innovate on behalf of customers with ecommerce ads. “We embed Amazon shopping feature and functionality right in the ad. So things like, buy now, digital coupons, customer ratings and reviews.”
And Amazon recently began testing dynamic optimization. “While the campaign is running, we’re able to dynamically optimize the ad to drive better performance for the advertiser and create a better experience for the customer.” As an example: if including customer ratings with the buy now button drives better performance, Amazon will dynamically make that change.
Utzschneider also told eMarketer in a client interview that Amazon launched native video in the fourth quarter of 2013 in the US. “For example, our customers like watching how-to videos to help them make purchase decisions. And we see that as a great opportunity for our marketers to meaningfully connect with Amazon customers.”
She also said Amazon strived to create advertising that helps customers discover products vs. just delivering impressions. “We want to create advertising that helps inform customers and helps advertisers connect with customers in ways that are most meaningful as they’re shopping. We believe ecommerce and advertising intersect at the customer when both are optimized to help them find, discover, and buy, so that’s where we focus.”